Interview with Cori, owner of Dick & Jane’s in Calgary, Canada.
Dick & Jane’s of Calgary, Alberta is beautiful. The store is contained within a house built over 90 years ago with stunning hardwood flooring, beautiful wallpaper and the original brick fireplace in the center of the structure. The store carries an array of beautiful goodies from homewares to furniture to gifts to clothing. Everything is hand picked by Cori, owner and conductor of Dick & Jane’s. We, here at Lomography, love this gal. She’s got style, she’s got taste, and she’s very funny to boot. We wanted to find out more about her hood, her shop, and her knack for a particular heroic cheerleader…
Where did the name Dick & Jane’s come from? How was the store conceived?
The store was conceived out of exhaustion. Me and my wife had been working for more than two months straight without a day off. We owned a clothing distribution company, and a retail store, and between the two we were traveling every three or four weeks.
It was shortly after midnight, and we had just finished setting up Blame Betty (our first retail store) at a tattoo convention…we were on our way home, and I turned and asked my wife if she would be interested in closing the distribution company and creating a new retail store in the space beside Blame Betty…At this point, we really wanted to travel less and start our family…she said yes. Our existing store was a clothing, accessory, and shoe store that catered to the punk, pin-up and rockabilly subculture in our city…so we decided to create a space that catered to all the remaining subcultures, young artists, and creative people in general…Dick & Jane. The shop is beautiful…the store itself is in a house built over 90 years ago…with stunning hardwood flooring, beautiful wallpaper…and the original brick fireplace in the centre of the structure. I love the name because it’s fantastically generic, and Dick & Jane is anything but generic. Between our two stores, we are privileged to work with and meet the most creative, talented, and incredible people in our city, it’s the best job in the world.
Best venue in town to rock out at?
I would have to say that the best venue in town is anywhere that I am…or Broken City…It’s where I met the love of my life.
Where is your favourite place to eat in Calgary?
Uh Oh, I have two favorites….
Tubby Dog. Not only can I get a veggie dog covered in potato chips and cheese….but an entire tray of sweet potato fries on the side as well. The food is incredible….the atmosphere is fantastic…and the staff is perfect. Tubby Dog is also a huge promoter of all ages shows in our city, and I really appreciate the fact that they are providing a place for young musicians to play. I could very easily turn Tubby Dog into my favorite place to take my camera.
The Coup. This is where I need to eat to recuperate from eating at Tubby Dog. It’s a Vegetarian restaurant with a lounge called Meet attached to it. The food is incredible, and the people are even better. It’s local, and ran by two of the most fantastic ladies in our city. The simple fact that they called the attached lounge Meet is reason enough for this to be one of my favorite places in the city.
My inspiration will always be people. I am very lucky to have incredibly creative people not only working in Dick & Jane, but shopping in the store as well.
If you were a Lomography Camera, which would you be? And why?
This is a very difficult question for me because the camera that would best suit me would have fantastic hair…and cameras don’t have hair.
Favorite part of 2009? What do you look forward to in 2010?
Looking back, I would say that my favorite part of 2009 was food…I’m really looking forward to losing 20 pounds in 2010.
What is it about analog that you like so much?
Memories. It breaks my heart every time I see someone taking a photo with their phone…I can’t even imagine what the world is going to be like in twenty years…but an even scarier thought is that there won’t be any photos to remind us of today. There are so many memories that are being discarded and lost through digital photography, and I can’t help but mourn the loss of all of them. Analog photography is a beautiful process…from taking the photo, straight through to the final product…I love the commitment, and the memories analog photography provides.
Favorite place on earth to bring your camera?
Shopping Malls. In my opinion there isn’t a better place on earth to capture the true human spirit than in an immense temple designed for the sole purpose of consumption and exploitation. When I venture out with my cameras I try to give myself assignments….and shopping malls provide endless possibilities. I would have to say that the “Husband Chair” is the most stimulating mall assignment. All malls have husband chairs…I have many beautiful candid shots of stunning chairs adorned with listless husbands….and sometimes wives.
What’s the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked by a customer?
Why I have pictures of Hayden Panettiere in the store. Seriously…am I the only person that has seen her? She is like a magical unicorn….and nobody ever asks why people put up pictures of unicorns in their stores?
Cori’s advice of the day:
When you’re 32 years old, it may not be the best idea to tell people about your love for Hayden Panettiere.
These photos were shot by Mitch Tukkimaki, wonder employee and resident photographer, in and around Dick & Jane’s:
Dick & Jane’s
831 17th Ave SW
Calgary, Alberta T2T 0A1